The last in a series of presidential debates is on tonight, featuring President Barack Hussein Obama II (D) and former Massachusetts Governor Willard Mitt Romney (R).
This debate will focus on foreign policy. But since Willard has little foreign policy experience beyond a courtesy visit to London (plus Israel and Poland) so that he could totally avoid watch Ann’s dressage horse compete in the Olympics, be prepared for the candidates to twist everything back into domestic issues.
I’ll be at the Montlake Ale House liveblogging as I can. Please join me there, or have fun in the comment threads, if you prefer.
6:04: Romney wins!!!! (the coin toss.)
6:05: Mitt opens with a lot of babbling and proclaims, “We can’t kill out of this mess.” Uh-huh.
6:08: “Gov. Romney, you strategy has been all over the map.” Certainly is was based on his opening answer.
6:09: Mitt wants “Gender equality”. Does he really know what he is saying? But this second answer is so babbly it’s hard to know what he is saying.
6:12: Obama hits Romney HARD on his inconsistent positions on foreign policy.
6:13: Romney hits Obama back on the “after the election” comment to Putin.
6:15: After a short bicker-fest, Obama comes out with a pretty coherent positive agenda.
6:18: Romney doesn’t have a plan for Syria…he just regurgitates factoids about the situation. Then, when he gets down to “action” points, his plan is what the Obama administration is ACTUALLY DOING RIGHT NOW. Sheesh!
6:21: Obama complements Romney on supporting the Obama administration on Libya and then punches him in the nose on his “mission creep” statement.
6:23: Mitt Romney tells us what “we all hear intelligence sources saying”. Damn…I can’t say…left my national security briefing binder at home.
6:27: Mitt declares himself a peacenik
6:28: Both candidates work in domestic issues. Obama did a better job sneaking it in. Romney criticizes the sequestration cuts…as if that’s Obama’s doing!
6:30: Mitt gives a speech directed toward the Priests of the Military Industrial Complex.
6:31: Obama does it again—turning the debate into a list of his accomplishments.
6:32: Obama hits below the belt…”[Romney] praised George Bush for his economic stewardship and Dick Cheney for ….”
6:34: Romney said “teacher’s unions” and Obama looked down! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo……!!!!!!
6:36: We are now on the topic on whether class size makes a difference. In Afghanistan?!?
6:37: Obama gets surly while Romney babbles on about “his” education successes in MA.
6:39: No, Governor, we cannot afford to repeal Obamacare.
6:40: Obama gets his do-over from Debate 1: “five trillion dollar tax cuts…military spending that the military isn’t asking for…”
6:41: I’m watching NBC. Why is Obama on the right and Romney on the left? This is a conspiracy!!!!
6:42: Romney, “I balanced the budget for the Olympics”. Yes…Governor, with a little help of your taxpayer friends.
6:43: Obama finally defends himself against Romney’s bullshit of blaming Obama for sequestration cuts.
6:44: Obama lands a left hook with the “horses and bayonettes” zinger. Perhaps the best zinger of all three debates!
6:48: Mitt’s flaggey-flag pin is bigger. Obviously, he loves America more.
6:49: Mitt Romney thinks Ahmadinejad has committed more war crimes and crimes against humanity than George W. Bush and Dick Fucking Cheney???? Very curious.
6:51: We have about 20 folks at the Ale House who are, apparently, here for the debate.
6:54: Note to Obama…watch out for Tagg Romney running toward you….
6:55: Obama contrasts his visit to Israel with Romney’s…it seems pretty effective!
6:59: Mitt lets us know he has “a relationship with the Prime Minister of Israel.” No doubt he cultivated that relationship the same way he cultivated a relationship with the Prime Minister of the U.K.
7:01: Obama goes after Romney hard on his flip flopping. I noticed, he always ends those bits with a positive message. Good debate coaching.
7:04: Mitt just told all the terrorists when he will pull out of Afghanistan. Why does he hate our soldiers?
7:08: Bob: “Obama bin Laden”
7:10: I’ve heard Mitt say lots of things about Pakistan, but I am still not sure where he stands and what he would do?
7:11: Mitt drones on about his support for Drones. But, but, but, I thought we couldn’t “kill our way out of this”
7:14: Trending on Twitter (US): #horsesandbayonets
7:18: Via Twitter:
Abby Huntsman @HuntsmanAbby
I’ve never heard two candidates agree more during what is suppose to be a “debate.”
7:17: Mitt wants to label China a “currency manipulator.” That will bring them to their knees.
7:21: Obama pushes the “Romney has bad political instincts” meme: outsourcing, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”, etc.
7:23: Mitt: “I would do nothing to hurt Detroit.” Obama calls him out on that bullshit.
7:25: “Governor, you keep on trying to airbrush history.” Look up history here.
7:28: Romney keeps bringing up the same old bullshit about how much worse things are now then they were when Obama came into office. Two words: “Bikini Graph”
7:31: Mitt: “I want to see growing peace in this country.” Huh? This is the kind of thing that is said when politicians are on autopilot.
7:38: Promoted comment from Michael:
Moderate Mitt’s plans all seem to come down to being just like Obama, only white.
7:47: Debriefing: Michael nails it. Romney etch-a-sketched so far back to the center that he was, essentially, agreeing with Obama more than he was disagreeing. That ends up being a huge problem for him. After all, the power of incumbency is that given identical choices, the devil you know is better than the identical devil you don’t.
But, of course, the other problem is that by becoming The White Obama, he contradicts his past “non-Kenyan” self. You know, like most of the stuff he said in the G.O.P. primary. His strategy depends on potential moderate supporters not being disturbed by his total abdication of past positions. That may have worked 20 years ago, but in the age of The Twitter and a plethora of other social media…maybe not so much.